Robert Trivers argues that we deceive ourselves in order to better deceive others, in part because self-deception can reduce unconscious body signals of lying (von Hippel & Trivers, 2011).

On Wikipedia, self-deception is criticized for

...not being able to account for why evolutionary selection for lying would allow a body language that gives away lying to exist instead of simply selecting for lack of such signals. (Ekman, 2006; Damasio, Evans & Cruse, 2004) ...

What are the main arguments against this criticism?


von Hippel, W., & Trivers, R. (2011). The evolution and psychology of self-deception. The Behavioral and brain sciences, 34(1), 1–56. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X10001354

Ekman, P. (Ed.). (2006). Darwin and facial expression: A century of research in review. Ishk.

Damasio, A. R., Evans, D., & Cruse, P. (2004). Emotion, evolution and rationality. William James and the modern neurobiology of emotion, 3-14.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this similar to "it takes one to know one"? $\endgroup$ – Tony Mobbs Jun 7 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ for a philosophical approach, probably Sartre $\endgroup$ – Ooker Jun 7 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ The question is not related to "it takes one to know one" because self-deception is not about detecting deception in others but rather about being deceptive more effectively. $\endgroup$ – Jared Jacobsen Jun 8 at 6:32

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